The great staycation neighbourhood
Bloor-Yorkville has everything you need for a relaxing, fashion-filled and gourmet getaway in your own city
For anyone who’s missing travel this summer, here’s the next best thing: The Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood has everything that lets you play explorer in your own town—world-class hotels, dining options, bars, shops and spas that are made for pampering. Here’s a roundup of Bloor-Yorkville’s best staycation options.
More than a hotel, The Anndore House (15 Charles St. E.) is a whole new way to experience Toronto—an all-around dining, sleeping, working and playtime hub with a distinctively creative soul. The property offers “Work From Hotel,” an amenity-filled program for Torontonians who are tired of working from home and want a change of scenery. As the hotel welcomes guests back, its #StayWithConfidence initiative provides extra cleaning and operational protocols informed by industry leaders.
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (60 Yorkville Ave.) recently reopened its doors, welcoming guests back to its premier accommodations, as well as to the ninth-floor Spa at Four Seasons Toronto. The hotel has implemented a rigorous Lead With Care program—an enhanced health and safety protocol informed by leading health experts. So enjoy a suite, get a massage and body treatment, then lounge at Cloud 9 Oasis, the spa’s seasonal terrace, outfitted with a healthy menu catering to guests looking to unwind with a view of the city.
The Hazelton Hotel (118 Yorkville Ave.) is Toronto’s first luxury boutique hotel, situated in the heart of Yorkville. Designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel offers 77 luxurious rooms and suites, plus celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s ONE Restaurant—a dining room and famous wrap-around patio at Yorkville and Hazelton Avenue. For much-needed relaxation, Valmont Spa at the Hazelton is a great refuge for Torontonians and visitors alike.
Yorkville’s grande dame, the Windsor Arms Hotel (18 St. Thomas St.), exudes classic Victorian-era elegance and an award-winning boutique hotel experience. The Windsor Arms has been the home away from home for visiting royalty, aristocracy and movie stars, as well as CEOs and heads of state. Beautiful décor, a soothingly quiet and intimate space and attention to the finest detail set the hotel apart.
Food & Drink
Amal, which means “hope” in Arabic, is the latest restaurant by the hospitality veterans at INK Entertainment (131 Bloor St. W.). Beirut-born executive chef Rony Ghaleb brings a menu of elevated Lebanese dishes, including cold and hot mezze, skewers, platters and the customary plat du jour, along with a selection of the Middle East’s traditional spirit, Arak. Mon. to Wed. and Sun., 5 to 10 p.m.; Thurs. to Sat., 5 to 11 p.m.
Restaurateur Nicki Laborie’s Bar Reyna (158 Cumberland St.) serves up Mediterranean snacks and signature cocktails in a sophisticated space with ample outdoor space. Come for the weekend brunch, $5 boozy freezies and the new hours on both patios (curbside at the front and the secret garden at the back). Tues. to Wed., 3 to 11 p.m., Thurs. to Fri. noon to 11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Café Boulud (60 Yorkville Ave.) is the Four Seasons’s popular brasserie, a destination created by famed restaurateur Daniel Boulud. Longtime fans, locals and hotel guests can rediscover the French art de vivre and indulge in seasonal menus and crafted cocktails in the heart of Yorkville. Wed. to Sat., 5:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Doug Penfold’s jewel box of a restaurant, Chabrol (156 Cumberland St.), encourages guests to lose track of time by immersing themselves in the tastes of southern France. With their new, larger location on Cumberland Street, they can now serve more guests. The quiet setting has chandeliers twinkling above. The French dishes warm the soul. Thurs. to Sat. from 6 to 11 p.m.
Holt Renfrew’s (50 Bloor St. West) extensive design glow-up, by the renowned architecture firm Gensler, is well underway. Much of the interior at this flagship location is complete, with a slick new facade still in progress. Shop fashion, beauty brands, designer shoes, accessories, make-up, fragrances, skin care and more at Canada’s luxury brand retailer or stop by the new Holts Café on Bloor—serving delicious brunch, lunch and dinner, including gourmet salads, sandwiches and sweets. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
As one of the world’s few museums specializing in ceramics, the Gardiner Museum (111 Queen’s Park) is devoted to this art. That means historically significant earthen wares, European porcelain, creamware, French faïence, Asian and contemporary ceramics and much more. In all: the Gardiner has an eclectic, delightful mix of ceramic exhibitions set inside a striking building on Queen’s Park. Tues. to Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission Wednesdays after 4 p.m. and weekends this summer.
Established in 1962, Mira Godard Gallery (22 Hazelton Ave.) is one of Canada’s key commercial art galleries, with three floors of exhibition space featuring paintings, sculpture, original prints and photographs. The Gallery focuses on contemporary Canadian and international art, representing major artists who have won distinction locally and abroad. Many of the works shown at the Mira Godard Gallery have become part of the permanent collections of public galleries, museums and corporations. Tues. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
Shops & Spas
Since relocating to the Manulife Centre last year, Over the Rainbow (Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor St. W.) has continued to be the city’s go-to destination for a great selection of denim, as well as lifestyle and daywear. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the first Over the Rainbow shop, a 450-square-foot space founded in 1975 by Joel Carman, to bring fashionable denim to Torontonians. Mon. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. to 5 p.m.
Ba&sh (118 Yorkville Ave.) is a French women’s wear brand founded by Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, best friends whose goal is to bring their dream wardrobe to life. The brand is all about cool, contemporary European style—meaning beautiful prints, easy separates and flowing, beach-ready dresses. Mon. to Fri. 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The iconic designer Christian Louboutin (99 Yorkville Ave.) has his Toronto headquarters in a Victorian house that’s painted red—just like the soles of his coveted shoes. Come to try on some of the most beautifully designed footwear in the world, from bejeweled heels to Louboutin high-top sneakers. Mon. to Sun., noon to 5 p.m.
The modern British heritage brand Belstaff (at Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd.) is steeped in the spirit of adventure, and made for independent spirits. Rooted in fashion-forward silhouettes, yet inspired by the brand’s rich 93-year history, Belstaff offers contemporary lifestyle pieces fit for adventure. Mon. to Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m.
Caudalie, the French skincare brand’s flagship boutique spa recently opened inside a gorgeous townhouse on Hazelton Avenue (17 Hazelton Ave.). The serene, luxe oasis specializes in sensory-enhanced vinothérapie treatments and an extensive range of effective, clean skincare products are available in the retail space. Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m.
The recently opened, second location of Majesty’s Pleasure (102 Yorkville Ave., Unit 5) brings an award-winning spa and cocktail bar to life on the rooftop of the Versace boutique. This Seventies-inspired penthouse has stunning pink-and-yellow decor, a central cocktail bar and terrace overlooking Yorkville Ave. This outpost also offers cut and colour services in addition to its great manicures, pedicures, nail art and massage services.